Dane Mayer Scrapes Book
Obey Creek Housing Development
Mac, Jagmeet. "Obey Creek Plans Raise Environmental Concerns."Chapelborocom. N.p., 2 Oct. 2014. Web. 02 Oct. 2014.
In the town of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, plans are currently underway to build a $1.5 Million housing development in an area known as Obey Creek. The plan is controversial among citizens of the town who believe that the Town Council is not aware of the environmental concerns of building a housing project. Other plans have been put forth, including that of Kevin Nunnery. Nunnery believes building a multi-use development, rather than a housing development, would be more beneficial and safer for the environment. Concerns of the air quality, water quality, and the destruction of forests have arisen. According to Nunnery, building the housing units would destroy the homes and ecosystems of many animals and other living organisms in the forest around Obey Creek. No decision has been made, however the Council will meet again on October 15th.
The development of this housing complex is a very crucial matter. It is important to preserve the natural landscape of the area. It is very important to preserve and protect the animals living there and the homes that they live in. There are many pros to Kevin Nunnery's side of the argument, some of which I just mentioned. It is also very heart warming to know that someone with the town of Chapel Hill is fighting to protect the animals who may possibly be in danger. I think it is also important that everyone who is planning on destroying nature for a commercial use, use this as an example. They should step back and look at the bigger picture and analyze how this effects more than just them or their use. Hopefully in the future, towns or companies will look at the Obey Creek Plan as a way to plan out how they can least harm the natural world. However, there are some negatives to Nunnery's plan. According to Betsy Smith, a research ecologist, Nunnery's report is flawed. She says that it doesn't necessarily take into account the air or water impacts. It is extremely important when working with environmental issues to be sure to use all available information as support. Without this vital information from Nunnery, it is difficult for some people to join his side of the argument. Also there is the argument that the housing built in this area is important to the families living there. This itself is true. It is important for the families living in the area to have safe and affordable housing. However, building this housing for the families at the expense of the destruction of nature is not a good option. It is much more logical and safer to find a way to build housing in another area, where the destruction of nature won't take place.
Vijayalaxmi Patil: E-Waste Hero
Menasinakai, Sangamesh. "College Girl Launches E-waste Venture in Hubli."Times of India. N.p., 28 Sept. 2014. Web. 2 Oct. 2014.
Vijayalaxmi Patil, a young college student from Hubli, India, is launching a local effort to help properly dispose of ewaste. Along with three of her classmates, Patil visits local electronic shops in her area to help them properly dispose of their electronic waste, including items such as televisions or CDs. Many people aware of the danger of not properly disposing of ewaste have volunteered to donate to Patil and her classmates. The students have received a huge amount of help, including over 700 kg of donations, along with the support of companies including 4R Recycling. Patil hopes to continue her efforts and start a recycling center in her town.
The efforts put forth by Patil and her friends are very inspiring to me. We live in a world where everyone has multiple electronic devices or gadgets, and most people do not know how to properly dispose of them. It is very harmful to the environment if these products are not disposed of properly. Patil's efforts may be seen in a smaller scale, however the effects can be huge. It is very important that we follow Patil's example and take our own steps to save the environment however we can. E-waste is a growing epidemic, and conquering it now before it becomes an even bigger problem is extremely important.
Experience: Enjoying Nature at Lake Katherine
If you can't tell I'm in the back behind Muthana it's a little blurry so it's hard to see.
For my experience I chose to "spend time in nature" at Lake Katherine in Palos Heights, IL. Lake Katherine has a one mile walking path around the actual pond, which we took. It also has gardens, a water fall walk, and a nature center which we also visited. The nature center was very informative and helpful in more fully understanding the the conservation of Lake Katherine and all the natural elements of the site.
The best part of this nature excursion was the nature walk around the lake. It felt very weird and strange to submerse myself fully into nature there. It was beautiful and nice to see all the different trees, plants, and small animals that live in the Lake Katherine area. The waterfall area was also very nice. Although it is further off than the rest of the paths, it is one of the most wonderful.
The experience of walking around and enjoying Lake Katherine was amazing. I have been here a handful of times before, however when I visited this time I had more of an idea of Environmental Science or Phenology going through my mind. It was extremely satisfying and gratifying to be able to immerse myself fully into nature, while still being relatively close to a major city. This is an experience that I would totally do again, even if it doesn't count for my Scrapesbook after this.
Article 1: Conservation of Energy!!
Many modern day skin care products, including the most popular, use microbeads. These are useful towards preserving skin, however they are harmful once dumped down the drain. These are unable to be separated at water treatment plants and leak into our oceans, river, lakes, and other bodies of water. This could not only be damaging to humans, but can harm fish and any other parts of the water environment. Companies have vowed to make a change in the products used and how they are disposed of, however no changes have currently been made.
Although I do not personally use skin care and make up products, this is very shocking to me. Many of my female friends and family members do use these products and knowing that they may be unknowingly harming the environment is worrisome to me. There are many other possible alternatives to this practice, including natural salts and other natural products, and I hope that companies decided to help protect the environment and humanity over making money. The negative effects of these products do outweigh the positives, and they should no longer be used.
Article 2: Make up Products!
Scientists in Australia were recently able to produce a system in which solar panels were able to conserve 40% of the light that hit them. One scientist working on the case, Martin Green, stated that this is the highest efficiency ever reported for sunlight conversion into electricity. This solar panels are used to take the sun's rays and transform them into energy that can be used. This has been replicated since in the United States and attempted in Germany.
This advancement is incredibly exciting. In the world today, we are losing considerable amounts of energy and non-renewable resources. It is sad to think that future generations may not be able to use the same resources we have available today. This, however, can change much of that. It is so exciting and amazing to know that scientists have developed something that can not only use energy in a safe and responsible way, but might even save the environment! These scientists should be proud of what they accomplished.
This week, Christi Brooks and I traveled to Wolfe Wildlife Refuge in Oak Lawn. Wolfe Wildlife is a popular spot for teenage trouble makers who constantly leave their garbage in the nature and wooded areas. Despite the negative effects they know this will have, they do it anyway. This area is set out as a preserve for wildlife, however the actions of those visiting are only harming the wildlife living there. This angered both of us, and we wanted to do something about it. We went to Wolfe Wildlife Refuge with bags and walked through the path and wooded areas to pick up the garbage and trash left behind by former visitors. Surprisingly, there was less trash than I expected, but the wooded area was still littered with garbage. This ruins the beauty of the area, but more importantly it is harmful to the animals and other wildlife that call Wolfe home. By cleaning up the garbage, we preserved the beauty Wolfe was intended for, and protected the animals living there. It felt incredibly great and fulfilling to help support these animals. I am so glad that we had the opportunity to do this. It was such a wonderful and rewarding experience to know that I was not only possibly saving these animals' lives, but also helping add beauty to an area that I enjoyed often as a young child. I hope to return in the future and make sure Wolfe Wildlife is safe for all people, animals, and any other visitor they may have!
Scrapes Book Quarter 3
Experience: Recycling Project
You may ask yourself, in 2015, what kind of family doesn't recycle? And the answer that you're looking for would be my family. Despite my constant nagging about protecting the environment, pollution, and the disappointment of Mrs. Coy if she found out, my dad constantly threw out recyclable items. I knew we were wasting reusable items, but I always did my best to recycle my own products and let my dad do what he wanted. That was until I had the idea of incorporating this into my Scrapesbook. With the help of my mother, we launched a secret recycling campaign in our house. Every night after my dad went to sleep, my mom and I would go through our garbage cans and pick out all items that could be recycled. We have been doing this for over two months. We also collect all used papers and paper products and deliver them to St. Linus School, where they have a paper recycling program that benefits the school. We also began keeping a log of how much we recycles. It began as a way to prove that my dad had been ignoring recycling, but I soon realized that this could be incorporated into my Scrapesbook. In 7 weeks, we recycled 61 bottles, 103 cans, and 37 other recyclable products.
Although this started off outside of Environmental Science, the experience fit perfectly into EnviSci. It felt nice to prove to my dad that recycling is important, but it felt even better to know I was helping save the environment. I admit that digging through the garbage was not an enjoyable experience, but knowing that I contributed to preserving the Earth made it worth it. I look back at my previous experiences with nature and think about how they could have never existed if it wasn't for recycling. Although it was a small project, knowing I in some way helped save the Earth made it so worthwhile.
Tybee Environmental Issues
Recently, the City Council of Tybee, Georgie have been creating ways to fix environmental problems that plague the island. They face many problems and have been working to find new ways to combat them. Their attempts to lower plastic bag disposal have not worked well since they face opposition at State level, where they have less strict statewide laws on plastic bag and box restrictions. The City Council has also worked to reduce the number of cigarette buds littered on the beach by restricting smoking on the shore. The city also plans to partner with CocaCola to launch a recycling project, and they have decided to start a recycling education initiative.
Tybee's plans to become a more environmental friendly city are amazing. Although we are more aware of environmental issues as a society, there is still always opposition to protection from environment destruction. It is so important to make sure that we help keep the environment safe even if that means passing laws to help. Some people will not follow the laws, but they certainly will help contribute to the cause. I'm proud of Tybee City Council for fighting to protect the environment, and I fully support them and hope their laws become common practices not only in Tybee, but also across the world.
China has an increasing appetite for Pork. It accounts for 60% of the world's pork use. All of this cattle is harmful to the environment and could create a bad superbug for the Chinese water supply. The Chinese meat industry has had a huge increase recently along with China's booming population (which we learned about haha). The industry also has a bad reputation, with many scandals of poor treatment and environmental neglect. China's need for meat has been continuously growing so this meat system will continue under neglect. If the system continues as is, it could be incredibly harmful to not only China and its water supply, but the environment as a whole.
China's pork problem troubles me. I love pork, so I support Chinese citizens wanting to eat and enjoy pork. It's delicious! But, the problems the Chinese pork has caused stop my support. Although eating a regular amount of meat is healthy, China's new growing obsession with meat and pork is incredibly harmful to the environment. As the article stated, the manure produced from the cow's contributes to not only global warming, but also a growing danger in China's water supply. The Chinese need to wake up and fix this problem. As a world super power, many other countries look to China to plan for themselves. China should set an example for all countries by abolishing a meat system that has failed, and establish a safe, alternative system that does not harm the environment. This will benefit not only China's world reputation, but also the environment that China has to live in. I hope China makes changes and fixes problems because I care about China, I care about pork, and I care about the environment
Experience 1: The Tree
In class, we were honored with the ability to plant a new tree at Marist. This experience was incredibly exciting. Each classmate was given different tasks to help plant the tree and it felt really awesome knowing we were all working together to do something good. It felt rewarding knowing that I was not only helping the Marist community, but also helping the environment. I felt more of a connection to nature because I was contributing to the beauty of it, rather than just admiring it.
In this experience, I learned a lot. I gained a lot more respect for tree-keepers because planting a tree is a lot more work than I expected. I also learned how to properly care for trees. Many activities that we were told were harmful to trees were activities that I or my family did in the past. After this visit, I learned how to properly maintain trees and care for them in a more respectful way. With these now in mind, I can work with trees in a way safe for the tree and the environment.
Experience 2: The Field Trip
On our class field trip, we visited a nature area where we dug for bugs and fish in the river, analyzed river samples, and went on a walk through the woods. All of these activities were marvelous and educational and really expanded my love for the environment and environmental science. The best part of this trip was looking for bugs and fish in the river. This was not only a unique and rewarding experience, but it provided bonding time for me and my fellow EnviSci students. We all had fun and worked together to search for the bugs with our nets. Although it seemed a little weird at first, it actually ended up being a really fun activity! The nature walk and water analysis were also great. The water analysis was interesting and helped me really connect what we learned in class with what actually scientists do in the real world. Although what actual scientists so is different, this helped me put together the act we were doing with the actual act and environment with which it is done. The nature hike was also fun. Even though the hike up the hill was steep, getting to the top felt exhilarating! It was so nice to see all the trees, plants and animals. Who knew that we had such lovely opportunities to interact with nature right in our own backyard! Seeing and interacting with all the nature on this hike was amazing. I wish we could adopt, name, and put tags on those trees too!